Robert 1st Sox rookie Gold Glover since 1966

November 4th, 2020

CHICAGO -- Luis Robert is the second rookie in White Sox history to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, as the center fielder was awarded the American League honor on Tuesday night, beating out Minnesota’s Byron Buxton and Oakland’s Ramón Laureano.

“I have always dreamed of winning a Gold Glove, so this is a dream come true,” Robert said in a statement. “I felt happy with my defense, but I know I can do more and be better.”

The 23-year-old Robert thanked Daryl Boston, Chicago's first-base coach who worked with outfielders under manager Rick Renteria, for helping him adjust to the big leagues. Boston also taught Robert to take better advantage of his defensive skills, per the center fielder.

Second baseman Yolmer Sánchez won the Gold Glove for the White Sox in 2019. Robert mentioned in Tuesday’s release how he joked with Sánchez about someday becoming a Gold Glover like him.

“This award is a motivation for me,” Robert said.

Ken Berry was the last White Sox outfielder to win a Gold Glove in 1970, with Robert becoming the fifth Chicago outfielder (ninth time) to win the award. Tommie Agee (1966), Jim Landis (1961-64) and Minnie Minoso (1957, ’60) also earned Gold Gloves with Chicago.

Robert finished with a .994 fielding percentage over 56 games during in 2020, committing one error in 154 chances. He led all AL outfielders in total chances, to go with 151 putouts, and ranked sixth in defensive WAR (1.0). Robert also ranked among the AL leaders in center field in runs prevented (tied for first with six), outs above average (tied for first with seven) and defensive runs saved (third with eight).

Catchers Yasmani Grandal and James McCann, second baseman Danny Mendick and third baseman Yoán Moncada were White Sox finalists for Gold Glove Awards, but they did not win.

Robert is also a finalist for the AL Rookie of the Year Award, along with Seattle’s Kyle Lewis and Houston’s Cristian Javier. The winner will be announced Monday.

Through the end of August, Robert seemed to be the AL Rookie of the Year favorite. He went 11-for-81 in September, which might have hampered those chances, but his defense never faltered, even when he struggled at the plate. Just ask left fielder Eloy Jiménez or right fielders Nomar Mazara and Leury García, who Robert often moved in front of to make an outfield grab.